What event are you running with Team for Kids?
I’m running the AirBnB Brooklyn Half with Team for Kids!
Where is your favorite place to run and why?
In this city, I am just discovering my favorite places to run. I have lived in NY for two years. When I lived across from McCarren Park, I loved to run on the track and around the ball fields. When I moved to Park Slope, I loved running up and down the tree-lined, residential streets to stare at all the beautiful brownstones. And in Prospect Park (even though the whole thing feels uphill somehow). Now that I am back in Williamsburg, I tend to run up and down Kent both for the skyline view and the lack of traffic signals.
If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
It kind of depends on my mood. I have an indie/pop playlist that I love with faves such as Django Django, Chvrches, Foals, Lucius, DNCE, etc. BUT I have also been known to jam out to both gangster rap and some combination of Calvin Harris, Selena Gomez & the Biebs (yeah I said it! #dontjudge #belieber)
What is your favorite post-run meal?
A vegan protein shake (pea protein, almond milk, cocoa powder, a banana and a dash of agave nectar) OR anything green.
When did your relationship with running begin and why?
Well, I have always been athletic. I was a dancer, gymnast and cheerleader for most of my life until college. But I NEVER had stamina (dance and cheer routines are only two minutes y’all). It never bothered me at all, so to stay in shape as I entered into adulthood, I was more of a walker/elliptical user than a runner. Then, about ten years ago, my father passed away very suddenly. I went into a deep depression and gained a ton of weight. After a few months of living like that, I snapped out of it and not only became a vegan but started to run as part of my “get my stuff together” routine. For several years I would run in intervals, never going more than a mile before walking a bit. In 2013, by then into my 30s, I decided to challenge myself and learn to run longer distances, so I signed up for the Flying Pig marathon in Cincinnati, Ohio. When I started my training on January 3rd of that year, I had never run more than 1.1 miles without stopping. Four months later on May 3rd, After 18 weeks of training, a nagging IT band injury, and extensive physical therapy, I ran almost a full marathon only walking for less than a half mile at marker 25. I crossed the finish line in 4 hours and 45 minutes. That remains the third best day of my life (only falling behind the births of each of my two nieces).
Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
Not really, no. I am a bundle of nerves and excitement before a race. I try to mellow out and do my stretches and get in the zone. The only thing I’m crazy about is wearing the exact, perfect amount of clothing. If I am a little to hot or a little too cold, I truly believe it does a number on my performance.
Why did you choose to run this event?
Since running the Flying Pig Marathon three years ago, I really fell off the wagon. I still live a vegan lifestyle and I still exercise, but the level of dedication I had has become less of a priority as I have grown in my career. I wanted something personal to reach for again, and a program to grab on to. I also wanted to prove to myself that I can still apply that level of discipline to something other than my diet and/or my career. In a nutshell: timing.
Tell us a little more about yourself?
I am a 34-year-old, native Ohioan that lives in Brooklyn with my partner and my almost-nine-year-old doghter Mollie (not a typo, she has four legs). I moved to New York two years ago when I took a job at a growing online media company. By day, I am an HR Director. By night I am an artist, a writer, a runner, a Soul Cycle enthusiast, a music lover, an animal lover, a nature lover, a vegan foodie and an aspiring Broadway singer (and by that I mean I want to take singing lessons). After living in San Francisco and LA (twice) in my younger years, I think I may be a Californian at heart.
What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
I just think it is a really valuable program. I grew up in the Midwest in the 80s and parks with real grass were on every corner and you could go to them and play without your parents and know you were safe. I did not have a smart phone or an iPad or DVR. We played outside and ran in circles and built sand castles. I am happy to support any organization that makes sure kids are still active and outside. ESPECIALLY in New York City where it can feel like you are in a concrete cage at times. I also love the fact that Team for Kids supports getting children to be aware of and passionate about a healthy lifestyle at a young age.
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